A spokesman for Reuters told PTI that the shortage of raw materials used in the manufacture of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine had played a role in the company’s decision to reduce its production target by 2020.
Pfizer said it has produced at least 50 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in recent weeks. This is down from the previous target of 100 million doses. Pfizer’s vaccine is based on a two – dose regimen, which means that 50 million doses will be enough to vaccinate 25 million people.
“The scale-up of the raw material supply chain took longer than expected,” a company spokesman said. She noted that more results than expected from Pfizer’s clinical trial could be produced in lower doses by the end of 2020.
Changes in Pfizer’s production lines are now complete and the completed dosages are accelerating, the spokesman said.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the news. An unnamed person directly involved in the development of the Pfizer vaccine said that “some early batches of raw materials failed to meet the standards” which caused production delays.
Pfizer applied in November for emergency authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine from US regulators. U.S. officials say they expect regulatory clearance for its vaccine later this month. The U.S. government hopes to include 6.4 million doses in the first allocation of the vaccine.
Regulators in the UK have already authorized Pfizer’s vaccine for use in that country.